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Allie and Bea: A Novel Paperback – May 23, 2017
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An Amazon Charts bestseller.
Humor and heart move the fast-paced journey of an unlikely pair coming together to form a family of their own in this touching story from New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat―on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.
When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go―until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.
Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family―and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.
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“Hyde delivers a fast-paced, touching, and humorous journey of an unlikely pair who never knew they needed each other.…Through little adventures and hiccups, the two learn eye-opening things about themselves and their outlook on the world. Perfect for anyone looking for an uplifting and lighthearted escape.” ―Booklist
“An appealing tale of friendship, family, trust, and faith in humanity. Fans of the author’s previous works will enjoy growing and traveling alongside the title characters.” ―Library Journal
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty-three published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts, as well as the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.
Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. An avid equestrian, photographer, and traveler, she lives in California.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (May 23, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 350 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1477819711
- ISBN-13 : 978-1477819715
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #78,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A feisty older woman meets her match with an even feistier teen.
Hyde takes you into the lives of wealth and poor. Into the west coast of America. Its different wave worn glass beaches, rock formations and why, also into forest, and people Allie and Bea meet along the way.
I didn’t want this book to end. It took me seven days to read because I didn’t want it to end. I could have read it in two being one adventure leads you into the next.
This is Hyde at her best without a doubt. Kindness spreads all through these pages.
My only hope is that people will read it and think about their own lives and days missing what’s important.
Having said that, I have issues.
1. There was ZERO character depth. Bea and Allie both seemed very two-dimensional. I didn't dislike their characters, I just found them bland. Further, Allie's 15-year old idealism was so far over the top it was annoying.
2. The story line had promise and it wasn't badly written--it was just...elementary. There were no layers to the novel and the dialogue was simply awful. And why was everybody so exceptionally nice? I realize there are many good people in this world, but Allie & Bea kept finding saints. So very implausible.
3. The ending was kind of blah. I could think of ten other ways this story could have ended that wold have provided more depth, more drama, more poignancy, and more emotion. Generic conclusions just aren't my thing.
Final thoughts: If you're looking for a sweet, quick, YA-like novel, this book will be your jam. 2.5 stars
Bea is in a situation where she finds herself homeless after falling for a telephone scam and losing almost everything she owns. Bea decides her only option is to pack her recliner chair and her cat into her van ands live that way, until she can decide another option. When Allie's and Bea's paths cross late one night, it is the beginning of an adventure that will change both of them, as they learn to break down barriers and trust each other on their journey northward along the California-Oregon-Washington coast. The scenery and events are so accurately described that the reader feels transported into the van right along with the main characters.
This story would make a wonderful film! Highly recommended!
Bea, a mobile home resident, finds herself the victim of a scam is rendered penniless and homeless. Rather than live of the goodness of the one friend that she has, she decides to ditch everything and refit her husband's aged, bread delivery van as her home on wheels.
In the meantime, Allie is roused from her rich kid world, when her parents are marched off to jail for tax fraud. Being a lone 15-year-old, she is taken in to child protective services that prove to be neither safe or protective. She is confronted with a world of similar teens who have had to live on the edges of society and barely escapes with her life and sanity.
Eventually the two main characters meet up, when a terrified Allie begs Bea for safe haven. Thus begins their journey into a future that is as unknown and fascinating, as one could imagine. Eventually, the younger woman is able to repay her debt of safety to the older woman.
Whereas the overly-simple, writing style drove me nuts at times, I did like the intent of the story. The somewhat contrived parts were too convenient but the overall theme was interesting and, in the end, hopeful.
This story is a bit dark, a bit fun, a bit awful and a bit hopeful. It certainly describes how one's life can turn on a dime, for better or worse, at the drop of a hat.
Top reviews from other countries
This is one of the best books I've read so far this year, the ending was just right.
After the passing of her husband, Bea has lived alone, struggling to make ends meet. When she falls victim to a scammer and is left penniless, she has no choice but to leave her home and live in her van. Taking only her cat, favourite chair and a few necessities, she sets off on the road, unsure how she will survive each day. Then she meets Allie, a young girl who through no fault of her own has also found herself homeless. As they embark on a journey in the van, they begin to form a friendship that sees both of them change their outlook on life.
Thoughtful and truly heartwarming, I loved this uplifting story about hope, kindness and friendship.